03 February 2012

Read a Dhamma book today

Book title : Theravāda Buddhism
(A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo)
Author : Richard F. Gombrich
ISBN : 0-415-36509-0

An exploration of the legacy of the Buddha's predecessors, the social and religious contexts in which Buddhism has developed and changed throughout history.

(From its book cover) :
Theravāda Buddhism is widely recognised as the classic introduction to the branch of Buddhism found in Sri Lanka and parts of South East Asia

The Buddha preached in north-east India in the fifth century BCE, and claimed that human beings are responsible for their own salvation, and put forward a new ideal of the holy life, establishing a monastic Order to enable men and women to pursue that ideal. 

For most of its history of Theravāda, the most ‘conservative’ form of Buddhism, have been identified with those of that Order.  Under the great Indian emperor, Asoka, himself a Buddhist, Theravāda reached Sri Lanka in about 250 BCE.  There it became the religion of the Sinhala state, and from there it spread, much later, to Burma and Thailand.

A social history of Buddhism
Vedic civilisation
The social conditions of His day
The Buddha’s Dhamma
The Sangha’s discipline
The accommodation between Buddhism and society in ancient India
The Buddhist tradition in Sri Lanka
Protestant Buddhism
Current trends, new problems

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